Sunday, 14 November 2010

Life gets in the way - but provides photo opportunities

Life has rather gotten in the way this week, as I had another parent's evening at the school on Monday, and then the rest of the evenings were spent trying to tidy our cluttered house in time to welcome the French exchange student who arrived on Friday.  He is a teenager from Marseilles and will be with us all week until next Saturday.  He's very sweet but speaks very little English, so it's a bit of an uphill struggle.  I've had to tidy away the dollshouse I was building in the kitchen, amongst other things.

Today was a miserable November day, cold (6 degrees C) and drizzling rain all day, very typical English weather but not very welcoming to someone from the Mediterranean.  We drove him down to see Stonehenge in Wiltshire.

And then drove over to nearby Salisbury, and took him inside Salisbury Cathedral.

Yesterday, we delegated my son to be host because DH and I had tickets for the Festival of Remembrance at the Royal Albert Hall in the afternoon.  It was the first time I've been to a performance there - it's pretty darn impressive. We were in a box on the Grand Tier, but I think most seats have good views because of the oval shape inside.  The Festival is a combination of both performance and a service to Remember the Fallen, and parts of it were extremely moving.

Before we went up to London for the concert, we took the boys to Windsor so our guest could see Windsor Castle.  We had tea at a cafe opposite 'The Crooked House', an old house which is leaning pretty dramatically.

I am going to show off my new yarn tidy, which I ordered after seeing it in one of the knitting magazines.  It's really intended for putting your recycling in, but it does a good job of tidying up all my various knitting projects in progress.

So the only craft I have been doing this week is knitting, because I didn't have time for anything else.

Here is my progress on the Johnny Rotten mittens so far.  Considering I have knit several stranded projects before, I am surprised at how difficult I have found stranding three strands of worsted weight.  The pattern suggests using the magic loop method, but after several attempts, I had to give up as I just couldn't strand the other two colours loosely enough.  I switched to dpns, and still had to start over a few times.  I eventually worked out that because the yarn is thicker, the act of trapping it with the working yarn (to avoid loops) is enough friction to prevent it from pulling out loosely enough even when I stretch out the stitches when I am picking up the next colour.  I have to stop and physically stretch the mitten when I change colour, to drag through enough of the other two colours from underneath the trapping, to keep the mitten loose.  This isn't helping my tension, but I think the mitten is going to be really warm with these three strands.

And I've almost finished the horrible Hand-Dyed Sock Blank socks - yay!!  just one more decrease row and some kitchener stitching, and they are done.  Finally.

The chilly weather lately made me feel like knitting something really warm and cosy.  I dug out some Jaeger Natural Fleece that I got half price at John Lewis a few years ago.  I couldn't find any suitable patterns for this chunky yarn, so I have written one based on the Ann Budd Handy Book of Sweater Patterns Yoked Cardigan pattern.  The Jaeger is 100% wool, and is a loose roving wrapped around by a spun 1-ply yarn.  It knits up quickly at 10 stitches to 4 inches, so after I took this picture, I managed about 8 inches of knitting just while we were in the car on the way to Stonehenge.

1 comment:

Daisy said...

Good idea with the yarn tidy!

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